Employees, providers, volunteers, vendors, students and contract staff of Baylor Scott & White Health must be vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 1, according to a news release from the health system.
Baylor Scott & White, one of the largest health care providers in North Texas. It has more than 49,000 employees and 800 sites across the state.
With the COVID-19 delta variant being the most contagious and dangerous strain of the virus seen to date, the health care system said in the release it is vital for everyone to be vaccinated. Some exemptions may be granted, though the hospital network did not say what would qualify employees for an exemption.
“We are committed to making the communities we serve healthier,” Baylor Scott & White said in an emailed statement. “Whether you are a patient, family member or employee, you can be assured we have taken every measure to protect you.”
Vaccine mandates in health care
Baylor Scott & White will not be the first hospital in Texas to mandate vaccines for its employees.
Houston Methodist Hospital is requiring all its employees and providers to get the vaccine, a decision that led to a lawsuit, which was dismissed by a federal judge early last month, according to that Star-Telegram partner WFAA.
Other medical groups support a vaccine madnate for hospitals, with 50 groups calling for mandatory vaccinations of long-term care facility employees as the delta variant of COVID-19 raises concerns of a new wave. The delta variant, which is more contagious and dangerous than any other strain of the virus seen thus far, primarily impacts those who are unvaccinated.
The latest data from Tarrant County, updated Wednesday, shows the community spread as being high. The county reports 271,510 cases of coronavirus since the pandemic started, with 91% of adult ICU beds in use.